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Finding the confidence to do household repairs yourself

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Figuring out how to set up a brand new tile flooring in the household room paid off huge for my pal Mary Brock, who lives in South Carolina. A closeout sale of 25 cents every for 12-inch ceramic tiles, primary set up instruments and a easy how-to e-book gave her the confidence she wanted to give it a attempt.

She stated: “I got a serious physical workout, great results and still enjoy the bragging rights of a do-it-yourselfer. Plus, with the money I didn’t spend on materials, we got new furniture for the room.”

While her outcomes are exceptional, Mary just isn’t distinctive. Homeowners are more and more saving some huge cash by choosing up screwdrivers and wrenches, and donning security glasses to deal with residence restore tasks. They’re discovering step-by-step directions on-line, which frequently embrace huge doses of encouragement and confidence, too.

Of all the issues that want restore in a typical residence — and are most frequently ignored — drippy taps and leaky bogs more than likely prime the record. They put cash down the drain, however calling a plumber can empty your pockets even quicker. The answer is straightforward: Fix it yourself.

An on-line seek for “fix leaky faucet” turns up a plethora of educational websites. Or flip to web page 48 in the richly illustrated e-book “Dare to Repair” by Julie Sussman and Stephanie Glakas-Tenet for step-by-step directions on how to do that restore with a few washers or a easy valve alternative.

Leaky bogs are the commonest reason for excessive water payments, says Kay Keating of the free web site Toiletology 101 — a website that’s as entertaining as it’s helpful. Take a seat in her on-line classroom, and she or he’ll train you ways to repair the leak yourself, and even to detect a leak you didn’t know you had with cheap alternative elements obtainable at any residence enchancment retailer.

Next to drips and leaks, home equipment are the household culprits most frequently in want of restore. Calling a service technician is an choice, however you would look forward to days and find yourself spending a fortune. Doing these repairs yourself is a a lot better choice.

Chris Hall, president of says, “You can expect to chop days off your downtime and cut the professional’s invoice by at least 75 percent, which is the portion of a repair bill attributed to labor, travel and a mark-up on parts.” Hall, based mostly in Canton, Michigan, alongside together with his employees, gives free restore assist on-line and by e mail. The firm shares elements for almost each main residence equipment in service in the U.S. at present, with same-day delivery and an absolute money-back assure on returns inside 365 days of buy — no questions requested.


According to Hall, most fridges, dishwashers, washing machines and dryers might be repaired at house by novices. It’s all a matter of determining what’s incorrect, ordering the alternative half and doing the restore with the assist of a web-based technician. “No matter the problem, fixing it yourself is always worth a try,” says Hall. “At the very worst you’ll have to call a professional, so why not try it yourself first? Chances are great that you’ll succeed.”

While the web is a superb useful resource for how-to’s overlaying almost each residence restore problem, free in-store how-to clinics at house enchancment facilities like Lowe’s and Home Depot supply hands-on instruction with a stay instructor. Libraries and bookstores are replete with do-it-yourself handbooks and educational guides, and cable channels like DIY and HGTV supply useful leisure whereas constructing one’s confidence.

Not all residence repairs are fitted to the do-it-yourselfer. In these uncommon instances once you merely should rent a contractor, train excessive warning. Get three bids if potential, and examine together with your state’s contractor licensing board to see whether or not any complaints have been lodged towards the topic. Then, insist on a written contract. An excellent rule of thumb: Never pay greater than 10 % up-front or $1,000, whichever is much less. Pay the stability solely after the work is completed — and achieved satisfactorily.

Would you want to ship a tip to Mary? You can e-mail her at, or write to Everyday Cheapskate, 12340 Seal Beach Blvd., Ste. B-416, Seal Beach, CA 90740.

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